London: News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has told a committee of MPs’ that she had ‘no knowledge whatsoever’ of any case of hacking while she was the News of the World editor.
Brooks also denied claims that hacking had been used in any other News International run newspapers, the Daily Mail reports.
Brooks was responding to a request for fresh evidence from Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who chairs the cross-party home affairs select committee.
“I want to be absolutely clear that as editor of News of the World, I had no knowledge whatsoever of phone hacking in the case of Milly Dowler and her family, or in any other cases during my tenure,” Brooks said in a letter published by the committee.
“I also want to reassure you that the practice of phone hacking is not continuing at the News of the World. Also, for the avoidance of doubt, I should add that we have no reason believe that any phone hacking occurred at any other of our titles,” she said.
But, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson refused to answer the home affairs select committee after lawyers representing him said, it would be inappropriate for him to answer the committee``s questions because of the active criminal investigation.
Coulson``s legal representatives DLA Piper said they had advised him that it would be inappropriate to respond to the questions posed in your letter, as they go to the very heart of the issues that the police investigations are looking into``.
Rupert Murdoch - who is flying to Britain as the deepening scandal threatens the British operations of his media company, News Corp, which is attempting to take over broadcaster BSkyB - said today the decision to close the News of the World was ``a collective decision.``
The tabloid, bought by Murdoch in 1969, was his first newspaper in Britain.
The 168-year-old tabloid is accused of hacking into phones of crime victims, celebrities and politicians. Police arrested the former editor of the paper Andy Coulson and two others in the hacking scandal. Coulson, however, has been released on bail.